Friday, November 23, 2007

Back off, peppermint-breath

Ahh, Thanksgiving is over, and now we're into the downhill slide of the year, when the world fills up with horrible plastic things that light up, or inflate, or blink, or play canned music at you incessantly, all with the intention of forcing you to experience some kind of artificial cheer. It's as though the year was some sort of elderly and formerly dignified relative, who upon reaching a certain advanced age, begins to wear hideous red-and-green plaid pants and maybe a revolving bow tie, and who tends to burst into loud embarrassing song at inappropriate moments.

It's disappointing, when the season itself has so much potential, so many evergreen symbols of rebirth and hope and new light in this dark time. Winter seems like a good time for rest and quiet contemplation, and I hate to see it get all clogged up with manic enforced jolliness.

Ah well.

Another Year Down the Christmas-Hole

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Golden rectangles, in blue

Not exactly fractal, but I've been working on a series of etchings that's definitely mathematical. Seven square plates, sized by Fibonacci numbers, etched with lines tangent to a curve. Printed all together, they make a rectangle 13" x 21", and the effect can change depending on how they're oriented.

untitled (blue prints I & II)

Blue PrintBlue Print, inside out

I also quite liked the initial proof I did of the plates before they'd had anything etched onto them at all. It made a print of squares embossed into the surface of the paper. Very minimalist.

Saturday, November 10, 2007


I took my previous snow image, and pushed it over some kind of edge. It's well on its way to being another one of those pictures I want to hide in a deep file on my computer and never acknowledge again. I'm not really sure why that is, except that it has that too-slick, cartoonish quality that computer-generated graphics nearly always seem to have. Ultra Fractal has ways of adding noise and grit and texture to the base fractal, and I've used some of them a bit, but adding very much of that kind of texture mostly just makes the thing look like it's had a few too many Photoshop filters applied.

It may partly be a question of there not being enough variation in color, and that the variation there is is too regular and predictable. I've spent the last couple of months looking at mixed inks and paper in the real world, and have gotten used to the roughness and irregularity that comes with a physical presence.

Still, in terms of technical assembly and lighting effects, this one is getting close to done.


An awful lot of layers, starting with a couple of 3-D quaternions as slightly surreal landscape elements. Heavy use of orbit traps for shading and highlighting and general effects, and more masking and transformations than I really want to think about at the moment.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Imaginary weather

The time change happened today, and now I'm going to be all out of whack for a week until I adjust. I'm sad that it gets dark so early, but maybe there will be enough light in the morning that I will stop sleeping through my alarm.

I always start to think about snow around now. I'm living in a place that doesn't get any, most years, but I grew up with snowy winters and so I still somehow expect it. But I will sit in the cool rain, and make fractal snow instead.


A Julia set. Nothing too complicated. The snowflakes are faulty, of course, because they're all the same.